By: Mike Ferrigno
Content Marketing and Channel Enablement Manager
If you’re an accounting professional, Microsoft Excel likely plays a very prominent role in your day to day operations. The tried and true spreadsheet solution has been a mainstay in accounting (to name just one field) for more than 30 years. In fact, some view Excel as the tool that doomed the ledger, a system that has been in place since perhaps purveyors were chipping accounts receivable entries into stone tablets.
And in Excel’s defense, it isn’t just for accounting professionals. Users have relied on Microsoft Excel for everything from timelines to project management planning to score and voting tabulations. How could we ask anything more of a program that has given us so much? It turns out that pairing Excel with QuickBooks Desktop in the cloud can turn the extraordinary application into a superpower.
Excel and QuickBooks Desktop are a natural pair. You likely use Excel for budgeting, preparing certain types of financial statements, modeling, forecasting, planning activities, and exporting reports from QuickBooks Desktop. Excel loves to pull in data. Sales data, banking data, invoices – all kinds of information that will support your accounting activities.
If you’re running Excel on your local computer, however, you’re missing a critical connection between the two programs. For example, let’s say a CPA firm would like to do some financial forecasting for one of its clients. It’s hard to beat Excel’s abilities to make comparisons and anticipate future scenarios without permanently altering the data in QuickBooks Desktop. The details of a Balance Sheet can’t be copied out of QuickBooks Desktop and pasted into Excel. That report, and others like it, was designed to be exported.
Without a cloud-enabled Excel, the only option is to export the details to a CSV (comma separated value) file. From here, the result is a plain-text “spreadsheet” where rows of text are separated columns delineated by commas. The user can then open the file in Excel to automatically convert it to a spreadsheet, but since it’s a plain text file being opened, only the rows and columns are maintained, and none of the formatting.
With a cloud-enabled Excel paired with a cloud-enabled QuickBooks Desktop, just exporting the data from QuickBooks Desktop into a new Excel workbook will retain all the formatting. More importantly, you’ll save time since there will be no need to export, and then import the same information.
CPA firms, accounting professionals, and small businesses also likely have more than one individual that will need to access and edit the same financial data. In that scenario, if one individual transfers data into Excel on their local machine, that person is now in possession of the new “working file.” That means that others are looking at incorrect and outdated information. Keeping your Excel file in the cloud means that sharing reports and spreadsheets among different users becomes seamless and that everyone is referencing the same, up to date, information.
Cloud-enabling Microsoft Excel alongside your QuickBooks Desktop saves steps and makes your accounting activities simpler and easier. And you thought Excel couldn’t get any better?
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